I’ve always hated the term “overachieving” in a sports conversation.
It’s often used to refer to teams that exceeded expectations, whether that may be having an above .500 season or winning a championship.
But, it discredits teams. If a team does something that some view as “overachieving,” I see it as realizing the team’s true potential. If they achieved it, obviously, they were capable of doing so.
This is why I don’t place that derogatory term on the Durant baseball team. Although I’ve had conversations with those that label the Cougars as such, they lived up to what they were capable of achieving this season — a historic campaign that will go down as one of the most successful Durant teams in program history.
This Durant team proves that baseball isn’t about what team has the most talent but rather what team rises to the occasion and plays as one. Every player on the Cougars played their role to a tee this season — whether it be as a pinch runner or as the ace of the pitching staff — and it got them a few runs away from the program’s first state championship.
The historic postseason run is something these players won’t ever forget — even without bringing home a state title. Although there were tears and disappointment after Durant’s loss to Lake Brantley in the finals, the good memories certainly outweigh the bad.
I wrote last week that the Cougars were more than their star pitcher, Tyler Danish. After spending the weekend covering Durant in Fort Myers, I stand by that statement.
It was reaffirmed for me by Danish himself, when a reporter from the Miami Herald asked him if he ever feels like Durant is a “one-man team” in a press conference after the Cougars’ 6-0 state semifinal win over American High, a Miami-area school.
“Last time I checked, I didn’t have 12 hits today, and I didn’t score six runs,” Danish said.
It’s this kind of modesty you hope for in a talented young prospect. It was the reporter’s first time seeing Danish play and pitch, but with Danish sitting at a table with his head coach and three teammates, it wasn’t the time to ask such a question. Danish was quick to shoot down the “one-man” label, and it struck a chord with the players in the room.
Players such as Danish are rare at the high school level. Durant has been fortunate to have had one in the past with Ryan Rayburn — now playing with the Cleveland Indians.
After finishing his senior season with a 0.00 ERA and memorable at-bats that include home runs in his final game at Durant and one over the 37-foot Green
Monster at jetBlue Park last weekend, Danish will leave quite a legacy at Durant. Still, this season was more than No. 7.
With just four seniors, Durant will return a solid group next season. Not having the pitching dominance and power at the plate from Danish obviously will be missed, but no one should count the Cougars out of the playoff or even the state-championship picture in 2014.
If anything, this experience was beneficial for rising seniors Paxton Sims and Luke Heyer. As head coach Butch Valdes put it, it gave the team a “taste” of what’s possible.
That doesn’t die with Danish’s graduation.
The Cougars didn’t overachieve this season. If anything, they underachieved, given the team chemistry and fight I saw them. Lake Brantley was the better team May 18, but Durant was certainly capable of hoisting a state trophy with the players it had.
And yes, even with everything said, having Danish didn’t hurt, either.“>http://nikashell.ru/alfa-bank-tolyatti-kreditnaya-karta.php